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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 24, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: a cascading crisis-- india locks down 1.3 billion citizensp the olympics atponed, and the rate of infection in new york skyrockets. we examine the latest in the covid-19 pandemic. then, debating a rescue plan. th the country watching, the u.s. senate pushes to pass an aid package to blunt the economic fallout of coronavirus. plus, inside the epicenter. italy's battle with the pandemic could be a warning sign of what's to come for the u.s. >> if you findwi cluster case, experience that we have in italy, you really need to bring the place to atandstill. nobody moves for three to four weeks, and you do test as many
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as possible around the place where the cluster has appeared. there's no other way. re woodruff: all that and on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> on an american cruise lines journey along the colombia and snakrivers, travelers retrac the route forged by lewis and clark re than 200 years ago. american cruislines' fleet of victorian-style paddlewheelers eland modern riverboats tr throh american landscapes to historic landmarks, where you can experience local customs and cuisine. american cruise lines. proud sponsor of pbs newshour. >> consumer cellular offers no-contract wireless plans that
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are designedlp you do more of the things you enjoy. whether you're a talker, texter, browser,hotographer, or a bit of everything, our u.s.-based customer service team is here to find a plan that fits you.o to learn more, consumercellular.tv >> bnsf railway. >> fidelity investments. >> the john s. and james l. aight foundation. fostering inform engaged communities. onre at kf.org. >> and with thing support of these institutions: >> this prograwas made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station fr viewers like you. thank you. >> oodruff: president trump is talking tonight about re-opening the country for business, soon. that comes as coronavirus
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infections in the u.s. exceed 50,000, with more than 600 deaths. meanwhile, new york state warned of increasingly deerate conditions today. but, in financial markets, the dow jones industrial avege surged 11%, the most since 1933, as an economic rescue bill progressed in the u.s. senate. amna nawaz begins our coverage. >> nawaz: in the city that never sleeps, empty streets, as coronavirus cases surge in new york, making it the new epicenter for the united states. new york governor andrew cuomo warned today of dire consequences in his state, and the rest of the country. >> as the number of cases go up, the number of people in hospital beds goes up, the number of people who need an i.c.u. bed and a ventilator goes up, and we cannot aress that increasing curve. t where we aay, you will be in three weeks or four weeks or
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five weeks or six weeks. we are your future. >> nawaz: the world health organization issued a similar caution, saying the u.s.-- now responsie for 40% of new covid-19 cases-- could become the global epicenter of the pandemic.he aroundorld, extraordinary steps in some countries to contain further virus spre. in the world's second-most populous nation, a 21-day lockdown f india's 1.3 billion residents, announced today by prime minister narendra modi. >> ( translated ): from 12:00 midnight today, the entire country will go under a complete lockdown. to save india, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes. >> nawaz: the summer olympic games-- which have historically only bn cancelled in times of war-- were postponed today by host japan. >> ( translated ): for the athletes, the athletes of the world-- for them to be ablto compete in the best environment, and also for the games to be one
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which are safe and worry-free for spectators, i ked if it would be possible to consider postponing the games for approximately a year. >> nawaz: and in spain, europe's hardest-hit country,h the dell has so overwhelmed medical centers and morgues that ice rinks are now being used to house the dead. here in the united states, as cases continue to rise, over a dozen states have imposed additional stay-at-home restrictions in recent days. rgand, as health officials continued social distancing, president trump today at a fox news town hall said he'd like to see those restricterns ease by ealess than three weeks away. >> we've had bad epidemics. i'm sure they could have bee pandemics. but we never did anything likeor this b but had to do it. it's been very painful, very destabilizing, but we have to go back to wo. and people can go back to work and they can also practice good judgement.
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>> nawaz: lawms looking to mitigate the economic impact with a stimulus deal pressed on withegotiations today, expressing confidence for the first time in days. >> now at last i believe we are on the five-yard line. the american people need our democratic friends to take "yes" for an answer. is going to want everyt everyone provision. we all know tt therare many things that so many of us want are left out, but we all know .at we must do these thin >> nawaz: at the white house this morning, national economic council director larlow said the deal will speed up recovery. >> p economic health, that's the key point, it's not either/or. >> nawaz: but, as the u.s. braces for an even greater impa, signs of recovery in china. in hubei province, ground zero for the virus, main streets came back to life, and officials said outbound travel restrictions for ny cities will be lifted tomorrow. still, health officials here say vigince will remain high.
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nt ( translated ): if the community is iied as an epidemic-free area, residents who need to return to work will bellowed to enter and leav the residency with a green health code and a certificate from the employer. >> nawaz: slowly easing restrictions, and cautiously adjusting to new normal. for the pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz. >> woodruff: as amna just reported, thworld's second most-populous country is on lockdown tonight. india is taking this drastic move at the order of its prime minister to stem the outbrk there, in a country with a less- than reliable healthystem, widespread poverty and under- served populations. special correspondt nehapo ia in delhi brings us up to date. >> reporter: in a televisedto addreshe entire nation, prime minister modi said that every indian-- all 1.3 billion iof them-- must forget whs like to step outside their homes for the next 21 days.
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prime minister modi and a complete nationwide lockdown, while citing the example of italy and the u.s., saying that when developedountries with robust healthcare set-ups have been unable to stop a mass outbreak, india stands noss chance, unvery indian stays indoors and self-isolates. essential services will continue to operate during the next three weeks. this includes hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores. but all air, land and rail travel has been banned entirely. prime minister modi also investment in indis healthcare infrastructure set uer this money, he next few weeks, will be used by testing kits, hazmat suits, ventilators, as well as to train medical staff. critics say india'ngbiggest chalis the fact that its public healthcare setup is and the government to be-funded, addressing some of that criticism through this move. the prime minister, however, was stlent on why india isn't g more people. the government claims that because there is no community transmission, there's noeed to
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test everyone, and that mass testing will only lead to more panic on the ground. india can test 10,000 people daily, but in the last two months, it's only test 20,000 people. >> woodruff: that is special correspondent neha poonia in new delhi, thanks. and as we mentioned, wall street soared today, on hopes the u.s. senate would approve an economic rescue plan. the dow jones industrial average gained a record 2,100 points to close at 20,705. the nasdaq rose 557 points, and the s&p 500 added 210. for more on the rescue plan, and other effos to battle the pandemic, we turn again to lisa desjardins at the capitolci itd yamiche or at the house. to lisa, i'm going to start th you first. individual americans, in particular those who may become unemployeds a result ofthe coronavirus, what's in this plan for them? >> well, that's important.
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first of all, an update, we are still waiting to see the plan and the text, auburn we do not know whether there will be a vote tonight. it looks more like lay vote tomorrow on this. judy, absolutely, this is what eir jobs.jobs or could loseve 's what's in this for them. there would be up to $600 over usual unemployment benefits for each person. that would mean close to full pay for most americans, not every, but for most middle-class americans, you could get an unemoyment benefit for full pay. that is for onfourhs, judy. and this is an increase over the original plan for this bill. >> woodruff: and lisa, we knowot r important piece of this legislative plan has to do with small businesses. tell us about what's in therefo them. >> this is the part that they agreed on the earliest, butre here's we are, $350 billion in loans for small businesses. now, tho loans will become grant, eventually they will be
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forgiven if those small businesses keep those workers on the payroll, keep those workers paid, and they treasur department i'm told has a provision in this where they can use tax credits to cut those checks more quickly n usual, get that loan money out more quicy for small businesses. small business make up 48% of the workforce here in america. woodruff: and now to you, yamiche, another part of this has to do with thelarger businesses, corporations. we know this is an area where the white house apparently gave ground on. what do we know about that in. >> that's right, well, thepr ident says that he's eager to get a bill passed in congress, and in doing so, white house, they say, made compromises. some of the compromises thmaey are dealing with large corporations. $500 billion will be going for large-business loans. there will be an inspector general and an oversight board to look atow treasury secretary mnuchin disperses these loansand the secretary will have the answer to
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congress. he will be called up to congress so what we see here is the white house saying, we want to make a deal. democrats were sing at one point, we're trying to add all sorts of things they thought o thenot related coronavirus bill, but we now see the white house really moving closer and closer to having that deal done. >> woodruff: at the same time, lisa, let me come back the you on this, this is a bill that does deal with more than just busineg es. it is go have some helps for hospitals and states. tell us more about that part of it. >> that's right. some important provisions, judy. we're told it has $130 bilon for hospitals, including rural hospital $150 billion for states, counties and cities, for lol governments. also, judy, this has in it we're told a freeze on federal student loan payments. now, judy, we want all the details of all this. the details are important. we're waiting for one big detail. we're told the price tag is $2
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trillion. judy, that would make that the largessingle bill in american history, the largest single legislative mease for one-time spending in history. >> woodruff: just quicks , lisa, at tint we think we know everything that's in there or not? we don't know what's in it all the way, not yet. >> woodrf: and again, on timing, lisa, you said it may not be tonight? >> right. it may not be tonight. it could be tomorw. >> woodruff: so finally, yamiche, let me come back to you with this last question, and this is what the president had to say today about getting the country back to business. it's something he raisedit toda. >> that's right, judy. st trentoidprp virus to ease the corona idelines that the white house issued, which were focused onci distancing and telling people not to be in groups of larger than 10by april 12th. that would be easter sunday.he th officials have stressed
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repeatedly that this coronavirus outbreak could last ae way until the summer. president trump has said this could last until august, but th presid making clear that he wants to ease those guidelines. he says that he believes more people will die if the economy is slow down than if the virus hurts people or kills people. so the president there is stressing that, but it's in the clear whether or not he's gehing that guidance and tat data from health officials. the other thing to note, judy, is that thpresident is getting pushed still by governors to enact the defense production the president just now, he's still speaking at the white house in this hour at a white use briefing, he is saying that he still doesn't need to do that but instead american companies are volunteering and there is enoughdiel equipment being made the meet the needs of hospitals all across the country. >> woodruff: so still t using the full federal power that he has. >> that's right. >> wdruff: all right. so much tofollow, yamiche alcindor, lisa desjardins, thank you both. we appreciate it.
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>> woodruff: in the day's other news, afghanistan's president ashraf ghani and his polital rival, abdullah abdullah, blamed each other for a u.s. threat to cut $1 billion in aid. secretary of state mike pompeo made the teat on monday, after meeting with both men in kabul. he warned that they must form a government and bin talks with the taliban. the "new york times," the "washington post" and the "wall street journ" are urging china today not to expel their journalists. in an open letter, they said the move is "threatening to information at a perilousical moment." beijing acted after the trump administration limited the number of chinese journalists in the u.s. in the u.s. presidential race, democratic front-runner joe t biden sat he still supports holding the party's national convention in july, amid the coronavirus pandemic. in a tv interview, he was asked
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about party leaders ng with that schedule for now. >> i think we ought to be able c duct our democratic processes as well as deal with this issue. but look, that disision we made he state of the nation at the moment.in called off, and i think we should call off any of the elections. i think we just have to mo forward. >> woodruff: also today, delaware became the latest state to delay its presidential primary, pushing it back from april 28 to june 2. some of the nation's best-known national parks closed today, citing the pandemic. yellowstone, grand teton and great smoky mountain national parks all joined others in shutting down. bernhardt had let parks stay open, but state and local officials urged them to close. and, renowned playwright terrence mcnally died today in
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complications.ida of coronavirus over six decades, he won four tony awards for works that included "ragtime" and "kiss of the spider woman." as an openly gay writer, he also ng gay characters to a wider audience. terrence mcnally was 81 years old.l st come on the newshour: italy's battle with the pandemic could be a warning sign of f what's to co the u.s. the escalating debate about when and, the torch is passed tormal. next year.wh it means that the olympics games are postponed. >> woodruff: we return now to our top story, the economic aid bi on capitol hill. senate majority whip john thune of south dakota is the second- highest ranking republican in
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the senate, and he joins us now from capitol hill. senator thune, thank you very much for being with us. so tell us, where do these negotiations stand? >> well, good evening, judy.e they till in the final stages. we've been saying this now for some time, but i really am hopeful that we're driving to a conclusion here. they're still debating a couple of the issues that are notll toresolved yet, but, you know, i'm hoping they can wrap up tonight. there's a possibility i suppose still that we could vote this evening, but one way or the other we need to get this done as sooinas possible, and i k we're getting a lot closer, b+? it's unfortunate that we're several days into this. in my view, this should have been done a few days ago. >> woodruff: we've beeney hearing e close now for a number of hours since yesterday. what can you say about what theo -up is? >> i think that there are eiveral issuesthat have been...
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that are still negotiated. one has to do with the fund that auld be available for businesses to geess to loan capital to help provide liquidity for their busiesses and what kind of conditions should be imposed there. i think there's pret much broad agreement on that. ere are... the democs have asked for grant funding forhe airlines, and that's something that a lot of republicans have b issues witt it's something that i think is being debated and negotiated. how th we keep airlines in business? we've advocated that be done through loans. there may be some combination of riat being debated, but that's being resolvet now. there is also a question of how you get the dollars out to stato anl governments, and there is differences about what the numbers ought to be, and i think in sopt respects on the policy, but these are things that shouldn't take that lonig, and think hospital numbers it sounds like have been fairly well resolved, but there again, we have had those numbers pretty everaln hand now for s days. the democrats have added, you
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know, additional items forid coation and discussion for several days now, and that's something that we have tried to fight off. anything that's not specifically related to this emergency, we can debate another day, but they keep bringing new issues into the discussion. woodruff: but you are confident that it's going to come tonight or you are not? >> i am not confident that it's going to come tonight for sure. i think it's a posbusibility. there's still a lot of work. the text isn't final. when it is, you have a file, you have to get it out there, kiss the tribute it -- distribute it opportunity to ret.y have an most people are miliar with the major elements of this bill. there have been a few changes for the most part everybody knows what's in it. but people will want an opportunity to look at it, discuss it, make sure they're comfortable before the vote, and we have tofl execute on ther how we get it done some there are some steps ahead of us yet. i would say doubtful that dit getse this evening, but you
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never know around here, but i think it's important that we get it done as soon as possible. >> woodruff: senator, different subject. that's getting a lot ntf atn. president trump has been saying for the last couple of days that that the country get back ast much as possible to business as usual, and he's talked about early april, easter. he's thrown out other dates. and you know that this goes against the guidance of most there who know something aboutt this virus. they are saying that this is a dangerous thing to try to do ith any soonen is absolutely safe. what is your view ofis? >> i think that you have to listen to the medical experts on an issue like this. t you knoat's got to be driven by data, sceien evidence. i know that we're tracking every day the numbers in south dakota, where they are, whether there's been community spreknad, yow,
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what the likelihood is that we're going to be dealing w significant issues in our hospitals in the near distant future. so those are all questions i think that you are asking when you're looking at when is it t going to be sa go outside again. and i think for right now we need to consult with an listen to the medical professionals,th healthcare experts out there who have been following this, tracking it, looking at tht data, coming to conclusion, analyzing every aspect of it. t we certainly don't want to obviously put anbody in peril or at risk until, you know, i think we need to get this thing completely dealt with before we >> woodruff: well, i'm asking because the president sounds like it's a priority for him, and yet just lae this afternoon and just minutes ago i saw tht dr. deborah birx, who is the coordinator of the white house task foron coronavirus, is saying anybody who has been in
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new york city needs to self-quarantine for the nex14 days. there are still sererus conc about spread, so my question to you: is this a priority rightno business over health? on protecting life, and, youerr know, these are obviously again people are going to -- people come to different tterpretations about the a, but i can tell you, for example, that state like south dakota, what we're looking at is a very different situation an what they have in new york because of the population bae. a number of people who have come ry from other places around the world who are cng the virus. so we'll make decisions probably different for our state thanwi maybe theyl in the state of new york, but generally speaking, dr. birx, dr. fauci, and the medical experts in my state of south dakota are the ones who should be giving th advice, and i think that political leaders need to be listening very carefully to that advice, because i think it comes th a great deal of study of the evidence, the data, and the
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scalnce that should inform g r decisions about how we approach this gorward. >> woodruff: there seems to be a lot of concd,ern about spr even if as you say south dakota is different from new york city. >> that's right. there is a lot of spread. that's a thing you have to watch out for. >> woodruff: senator john thune, we thank you very ch. >> thanks, dy. >> woodruff: this pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of american life that includes the race for the white house, where the campaigns of the two leading demesratic candidave moved from rallies with big crowds to virtual messages to supporters. and, it brought one of them bacg to wasn to focus on the stimulus package-- independent senator bernie sanders of vermont. and he joins me now.
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senator sanders, what is your know about the status of this effort to aidbu hospitals mainly to hep american workl s and smd large businesses? >> well, what i believe is going to be the case is there will be a msive, unprecedented expansn of unemployment, which includes workers who today are not covered by unemployment. ovto half the workers iay are not covered, people who drive uber cars, people who are in the gig economy, and we have the problem with a lot of tiped employees, workers who are making $2.50 minimum wage. so this will be unprecedented. my understanding is it will be 100% of people's salaries for e uronths, and that's something thatught for very, very hard to make sure that we make workers whole. in the small business divisi a, which so going to be very,
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very expensive, what we are sathng there is if small businesses retain their employees, not fire them, even when they are at home, there will be loans for the small businesses, which will be forgiven, as i understand it, if they retain their workers. also what we're talking about, which i think is not enough, but it's a start, is $1,00 --$1,200 for every adult in this country earning less than $75,000nd $500 for their children. obviously a major, major concern now is that hospitals all over this country, especially in new york city, washington, elsewhere, are beg inundated with coonavirus patients. they need help. i believe there is $130 billion on the way to help them.ea y, unbelievably, we don't have enough masks or gloves or
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gowns for our doctors. >> woodruff: right. >> and the nurses who are putting their lives on the line. there is money available to make sure that as soon as possible they get the equipment they ne to protect themselves and treat their patients. point is this sog you at this would support? >> i got to see the details, and the details are not out yet. i think at the end of the day, t given the fat we have an unprecedented economic crisis, me people are suggesting that unemployment might go above 20%, 25% by the end of june, we have an unprecedented healthcare crisis, it's clear to me that we have got to move as aggressively as we possibly can to protect woing families in this country. one of the areas where i do have ncerns, i haven't seen all the details yet, i don't know that they have been negotiated, is i am very uncomfortable with giving donald trump and his administration $500 billion to use in any way they want. that worries mlea who lot.
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but we'll see if there is soe improvement in that situation in the last few hours. >> woodruff: and we were told that there has been serious conversation, negotiations over an inspector general and over an waiting, as you sasee thee details. senator, another piece of this is that one of your campaign coceres is congressman roe kahn of california, who has called on the president to suea national shelter-in-place order for next few weks. is this something you agree with? >> i'll tell you what i do think. i think that -- what i do think is i am very worried about a esident who is ignoring the medical adce and the leading scientific expertshi this country who talk about opening
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the economy and bringing people back to work when tmay be sick. this could be enormously dangerous for this coury. and i worry about that very much. i think in terms of a nation shdown, i think you got to look at various states and where they're at. washington state is in crisis.. other states may be not so much. but clearly the goal right now is to do evything possible to stop the spad of the epidemic, to have the resources to treat those people who are to be prepared for what may happen in the fall, because there is a fear that even if we are able to significantly lower the epidemic right now, imay resurface in the fall. there's an enormous amount of work to be done. >> woodruff: and i'm sure u know their argument is that if the onomy completely decimated, people's lives, their livelihoods are going to be ruined. that's something that has to bea weighed in thelance so at the
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very least they're talking about looking at geographic areas thao are noalled hot spots and will lifting soste rections there. >> brangham: that gets into the whole issue of why we don't havenough tests i think what the experts are telling us, if the day comes when there is a workfce that is tested everyay, andnobody is positive, that's okay. people can go to work.t but riw we're woefully inadequate in terms of our testing situation. judy, i would also add that in this unprecedented moment, as we fight our way out of this crisis, and i have -- i kind of believe that congress will be future after this bill is passed , weill continue to have unmet needs that are out, there we have got to ask some hard questions: how do w to where we are right now?
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why are so many people in this country dee?sper what people are afraid of and what i am afraid of is that half of our country is living paycheck to paycheck. what happens when those payccks stop? $1,200 for an adult, yeah, well, that's fine for ea few . it is not fine for a long period of time. how do we make everybody in this country whole? how do we give confidence to the government will betheire side? onw, trump talks about the fact that a bad ey is bad. people are going to be hurt. but at the end o day, our job is to keep people healthy, keep people aliveand d everything we can to get theur res, economic resources. money is money. life is life. people die, you know, that's not what we want. so the first priority has got to be to protect the health of ante amereople, and then we have to reuild the economy, but short term government hagot to do everything it can to make working people whole in this >> woodruff: senator bernie
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sanders, candidate for president for the democratic nomination for ypresident, tha very much. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: with close to 7,000 deaths, ity is the nation hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. and as nick schifrin reports, italy's doctors are urging the united states toearn from their national tragedy. and, a warning: these scenes are difficult to watch. s ifrin: in northern italy, the patients are gasping for air. at hospitals across the region, the horror is relentless.d e doctors and nurses who don't have enough protective equipment, don't have enough beds or machines, don't have enough hours in the day to save the sick-- say they' losing a war. >> ( translated ): we are at the end of our strength.this is a se
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are taking in lot of people. i would say the capacity is finished. >> schifrin: dr. romano paolci was called out of retirement to help treat covid-19 patients at l.cremona's oglio po hospi doctors are pulling 12-hour shifts.re and, they' starting to get sick: x had to leave work after contracting covid-19. >> ( trslated ): psychologically, it's very difficult. >> schifrin: nurse luca dall'asta struggles to find the words. >>ll translated ): it e at the end of this emergency that we will see how we stand up. but at the moment, we have the very tired.t-- even if we are >> schifrin: doctors call the treatment for covid-19 "intense and lengthy." patients need weeks to heal. if they heal. there are only so many ventilators, and they're priotized for those most likely to survive. and so doctors are forced to decide who lives, and who dies. and when patients die, they die alone. funerals are illegal. coffins sit for days.
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in this chapel in a crematorium in altair, there are three times the normal number of dead. >> ( translated ): in theory, we are used to this, because our job deals with coffins. but now we understand the exceptional nature of the crisis. >> schifrin: in bergamo, the cemetery is full, soghrmy trucks brcoffins to a cemetery in a different region, far fromil victims' fs. this is one of europe's best healthcare systems. but in brescia, the hospital admits covid-19 is overwhelming. there are so many patients awaiting their cid-19 test, they wait in cots-- in the hospital laundry room. >> ( translated ): what is reallyhocking, something we had not been able to forecast and brought us to our is how quickly the epidemic spreads. >> schifrin: elsewhere, the streets, and italy's mfamous sites, are empty. rome, the eternal cityn seems frozenme. but critics say, isolation came too late. >> this s a missed
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opportunity. >> schifrin: d andrea crisanti has been watching the virus ravage italy since the first death in the tiny city of vo on february 21. local officials locked vo down, and crisanti's team tested all 3,000 residents. that allowed authorities to curtail infection at the earliest signs. >> if you find a cluster case, now with experience that we have in ily, you really need to bring the place to a standstill. nobody moves for three to four weeks, and you do test as many as possible around the place where the cluster has appeared. there's no other way. >> schifrin: crisanti's teamou t the infection rate in vo to zero. but he said italian authorities ntdidn't learn his most-ur lesson. >> nobody has ever won a war by building more hospitals. you have to build more weapons. and i think the weapon to win an epidemics, are measure of containment and surveillance and tracing.di i regret that not use my scientific approach to challenge and consolidate wisdom because, you know, i'm a scientist.d
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i tr convey in a polite, educated way.ho probablyd have been more aggressive. >> schifrin:espite the fear, italians have tried to maintain theisehope. despitration, they have maintained their connection. ♪ y ♪ in a lombaspital, dr. sarah barbuto used a national anthem.y the italian ♪ ♪ docts sang along, through their exhaustion >> ( translated ): i wanted to tell you that in all of italy, people are thinking of you, they are hoping that we win this very tough battle. i am sure that this is how it will be. >> schifrin: outside another hospital, there is a mural: a nurse holding italy in her arms. dr. crisanti warns the u.s.-- avoid italy's miakes. >> i think they have to take this very seriously, and i think their effort to block the spread of the disease.
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ruthless in tes of measure and in terms of resource to pour into it. >> schifrin: but for now, italy's doctors have a warning: get ready. your country may be next. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: the tragedies wee aying out in italy and around the world are why most public health officials say so's far to to plan when people can return to work. but, presint trump today said that he hopes to s much of the country re-open by easter. other voices in business have made a similar, but less time- specific, call to revive the economy. are going to examine those questions now with a pair of conversations. first, paul solman looks at the general case for easing the shutdowns sooner. >> reporter: dr. david katz wrote an op-ed piece for the "nework times" last friday
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that's received enormous attention, arguing that we may be shutting down too much of the economy too soon. he joins from his house in connecticut. >> thank you, paul. >> reporter: what is the basic argument? >> i think the best way to explain what i'm concerned about here is to talk about my parents. my parents are both 80 years old, generally in good health, but in clearly no matter how we risk-stratify for preventing spread of coronavirus, they're in the high-risk group. and, when i talk to the two of them about what they're most worried about, my dad, who is a cardiologist-- who by the way, still sees patients at 80--wo his primary is the loss of his life savings and his legacy. everything he's worked all these decades to build for his family. vanish, and yeah, he doesn't want to get coronavirus and dien but y, the loss of his life's wk is his greatest concern. >> reporter: more than his
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isalth? >> i'd say, "whahe thing that worries you most?" "well, i don't want to get coronavirus, but hones i'm gravely preoccupied with the loss of everything i've worked my whfe for." my point is simply this-- we must do everything possible to minimize the direct harm of the coronavirus. and that means, right now, protecting everybody from everybody. but what i argue for is, can we use this initial period to identify high- and low-risk groups so that the long-term interdiction, the loerm is limited to people at high-risk of severe infection? and we potentially can de-isolate, if you will, a major portion of the population relatively soon. >> reporter: but you're not telling me, not telling us, that we shouldn't be socialta ding? >> no, i'm not. wh i'm saying is, by all means, we take full advantage of this initial period of social
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distancing for all. but the goal would be, minimize the harms directly attributable tohis bad pathogen, but al minimize the harms of destroying peoples' life savings, ravaging the economy. because, when you thint social determinants of health, and they're very important to me d prominent in my work all wese years, you really can't unbundt happens to the economy at large and what ouppens to peoples' health. >> reporter: buton't really know the numbers, right?k >> i was just g at this issue of, how bad is this, relative to things that kill people every day a population like italy, yes, this is terrible, and all these deaths a concentrated. but it's 50 million people in italy, and about 1% die a year. that's 500,000 deaths a year in italy before coronavirus. that's 1,500 deaths a day. from coronavirus in a way thaths distorts the impact it's having on the population. germany and south korea we out and found the mild cases and, from both of those countries,
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the data say 98% and 99% of all infections are mild. we have no reason so far to think that's any different here in the united states. can we ramp up our assessment of cases in the population, figure out how many people have this-- not just the ones with severe infection-- differentiate on thd basis of risk,an we say, two weeks from now, three weeks from now, we've now been able to identify the 75%, 80%, 90% of the population that actually is at no higher risk of severe infection from coronavirus than from seasonal flu? and we don't shut down our society every year fsonal flu, so those folks can go back to school, can go back to work, are going to now b toy, and we essentially concentrate our protective resources to that onaller segment of the population most to severe infection, so we do an even better job of proving them all the services they need and
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protecting them. >>oneporter: risk stratifica means testing everyone, right? >> yes, widespread testing. absolutely reliable data. >> reporter: but we're nowhere near being able to do that. >> no. well, we're ramping fast. for example, new york, which was testing about a thousand people a day, in very short period of time has ramped up and is now testing more than ten times at many. in fact, i think it's 15 times as many-- they're above 15,000. and i think they have plans to increase further, so i think other states obviously can do the same. and i think we can massively improve our detection. >> reporter: one of the things you wrote in your article is, you worried about college kids being brought back home, right? >> yeah, and i'll confess something to you, paul. i don't feel great right now. i've actually arranged to get a test ordered. i've been achy for several days. i don't know if i've had fever or not. i haven't been able to catch it. but i felt like it's beente ittent. if you feel like you've got a viral illness in the middle of a pandemic, that's sort of, if its quike a duck, it flies like a... right?
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if i do have it, my likeliest source of exposure was three of my adult children being sentba home. two from boston, where they were attending university, and one from n was working, and her business laid her off because it shut down. you know, healthy, young people from college and working in new york city, if ey get sick with this bug, they may barely notice. maybe it's not so great to have them infect their nearly 60-year-old parents or their 80-year-oli grandparents. ink we can do a better job of separating high-risk from low-risk, and eating those two populations differently. and i think a world of good could ensue from that.>> eporter: dr. david katz, thank you. po thank you, paul. >> woodruff: an ant note. paul recorded that conversation yesterday evening. this afternoon, after the presidens press conference, dr. katz said a decision about when to return must be data- driven. he tweeted that an "arbitrary 'back to business' deadline is dangerous folly."
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other officials are alarmed by the time line the president has discussed. now william brangham speaks with who has warned of the real rift of bringing people bacok to quickly. >> desjardins: for that now, william brangham speaks voice who has warned of the real risks of bringing people back too quickly.or >> brangham:hat, i'm joined now by one of the nation's leading epidemiologists. marc lipsitch is with thet. harvar chan school of public health, and specializes in infectious diseases. marc lipsitch, thank you veryer much for being. i know you saw or heard that prior conversation that paul solman had with david katz. i want the talk about this ronavirus is too much to bear,t that too much in comparison to the virus. what do you make of that?i >>ink what is clear is there is going to be a lot of economic pain. i think no responsible epidemiologi, because we also care about other kinds of
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to minimize that.ring, would try the issue is that the size of the pa f that we're feeliom the virus now is growing expo innocent usually.e rpose of social distancing is to slow the read an ideally turn over the curve of the epidemic so that we don't end up with more cases of these than our healtcare system can handle. one tricky part about this is that the actions we take now will bear fruit in three weeks or so in reduced caseloads in our intensive unit. that's how long it takes for someone to get sick enough to need intensive care normally with this virus some it's not that we can we ait untilel the pain to take action. if we this that, we have three more weeks increasing burdens on our healthcare system, which will crush it. >> brangham: katz ahd oters
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even today have been arguing also that this majority of cases thus far apear to be relatively mild in that draconian efforts to stop what are a majority of mild cases inappropriate. what do you make of that? >> you know, the majority of people don't die in any war, t we still try to stop wars, and there's just not a releva comparison. if se% of a population, maybe a majority of the population gets it, s course most es are mild. nobody disputes that. the issue is that many cases in terms of absolute numbers areto goinbe severe. that's first problem. the second problem is that the numbers of those people, as we've seen in china and in italy and in iran and are beginning to york city and elsewhere, there ose enough of people so that the whole healthcare system
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is unable to take care of the cancer patients and the heart attack patients and the people who are in the hospfor all the other reasons. >> brangm: it seems at the argument that you're making is that we on some level suffer this economic pain now, but we don't necessarily see the benefits in reduced ses for quite a few weeks. it's similar in some ways to the argument that's made about climate change, that sacrifices and changes to our energy infrastructure need to be made now, but we don't see the benefits from that until maybe years down the road. think for people to swallow.g >> well, i think it may be, ai d ink our political leadershipen haouraged a feeling of we should prilege the present over the future. it's just not responsible. leadership meaat when there is a problem you encourage the people to sacrifice what's needed to have a better outcome in the future. it's in not that we're sacrificg now so that someone else hs a
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better outcome, it's really so we have a better outco, that we have a healthcare system a month from now. it should not be that complicated to get at mege through. >> brangham: so we have are healthystem a month from now. you think it's that dire? >> in some places it's going to be a month. in some places it may be longer than that. but new york city, for example, and sacrificing a lot in order to make sure thatheir intensive care units are functioning as well as they can be the nw weeks even. so some places it will be more an a month if we do nothing, but not much more than a month, because this is an exponentially growing phenomenon. >> brangham: presiednt trump seo indicate today that he pointed out how we this lose tens of thousands of peop to seasonal influenza every year. he says, we don't shut down the
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country for seasonal flu. he seems to be optimistic in a see that the death toll, while large, will not be aso trc for covid. does the epidemiology admit that that optimism is right? >> wll, the projections are for much greater toll than for seasonal fluaor two resons. every year somewhere around 10%% or of the population gets seasonal flu, and then expectats that especially if uncontrolled this epidemic eill infect more than half the population some are more people at risk. and the death rate from this ers somein the neighborhood of ten times that from seanaflu per case. it may be more, it may be less. therofs a lot uncertainty around this number, but it's considerably more than foras al flu. so it's just not responsible to say thise same as seasonal
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flu. it's going to get more people innecked and - infect, and it's going to be fatal and seofre in a higher fraction them. the other thing about seasonal flu, we have never seen innsive care units in multiple countries shut down, multiple advanced industrializeds countr shut down and unable to function because onaf sea flu. it's just not what happens. ism all right, marc lipsitch from the harvard t.the -- t.h. chan school of public health, thank you for talking with us. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: olympic history of a ve different kinwas made today, when japan and the international olympic committee decided to postpone this summer's games to 2021. john yang looks at what drove that decision and the ramifications. >> yang: judy, today's decision
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affects thousands of athletes around the world, and creates huge logistical headaches for organizers. christine brennan of "usa today" has covered every ol games, both summer and winter, since 1984. she joins us by skype fr washington, d.c. christine, how much of this decision was driven by the athletes' n concerns about their own health and welfare? >> john, all of it. this was stunning. when leaders don't lead, the athletes filled the void. and the international olympic committee president, thomas bach, is actually a former athlete, former olympic gold dalist. one would have thought he would the athlete's probe magnitude of he did not. he sat in his ivory tower and kept saying, we're not tking about postpoment. we're not talking about cancellation.at thetes took over. they started talking. i interviewed, some id, around the world. they couldn't traiif theyrd. could train, if they could go
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and swim or run or whatever, they wondered if they were being good citizens. not just americans, but athletes around the world. shouldn't they be sheltering in place? why are they out and no one else is? everything's being closed down aroundhem, yet they're trying to train for the most important event of their life just four months away. the atetes drove this decision. it wasn't about july 24, the opening ceremonies date. it was about right now. and the here and now really won the day, and the athletes voices ended up being the voices that we listened to. >> yang: you say that this competition, for many, these athletes are really what's the t most-- goibe the most important moment of their lives. does this, for them, some of them, mean that their chances of medaling ever are diminished? >> yes, there are athletes who were-- who were targeting 2020, and that knew that once july or gust of 2020 was over, that their career was over. some of them will stick around. i've talked to some already who say absolutely, especially if it's a spring olympics. we don't know yet. but if it's the spring of 2021, that's obviously less time than the summer.
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even though that might sound like a short perd of time for these athletes, elite athletes at the peak of their game where e fingernail's the difference betwn first anfourth place in a swimming pool, that's enough to probably e some caer and some of these athletes have delayed college, delayed careers they-- oh, they ha and for every one who makes a lot of money, like michael phelps or katie ledecky or simone bylesthere are those who are just scraping by. and this has been their dream and their hope. >> yang: give us something historical perspective. have the olympic games ever been disrupted in this sort of way? >> this is unprecedenthn. never before have we seen anything like this. world war i and wor ii,ations: but that's it. other than that, there've been boycotts, and those were so, the idea of a postponement
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is something the likes of which we've never seen, which ishy the undertaking is so dramatic for the athletes, and also for the too organizers. >> yang: for the tokyo organizers, how easy is it to a just move thear? are there worries about venues being available, hotel rooms being available, other mpetitions interfering? >> all of the above. it's not like postponing an n.b.a. season or an n.h.l. season or stopping sng. even the n.c.a.a. men's and women's basketball tournament. this, this is the biggest regularly-scheduled event and gathering of the world, the olympic games. and so, yes, the hotel rooms, obviously, tickets sold, infrastructure. there are ten venues, john, that are supposed to be temporary, a which means onust 9 happened, and then the parampic games after that, s into september, they would be moved, taken down, whatever. what's going thappen with those venues? my sense is, civic pride will win the day, ande will see tokyo rise just like probably
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any other big city would, to pull this off. >> yang: christine brennan of "usa today," thank you very much. >> john, my pleasure. thank you. >> woodruff: thank you bot and that is the newshour for tonight.uf i'm judy woodr join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at thews pbs ur, thank you, stay safe and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshouras been provided by: >> fidelity investments. >> american cruise lines.il >> bnsf ray. >> consumer cellular. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutionss. and individu >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by ctributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> you're watching pbs.
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hello, everyone. weome to amanpour & co. battling the coronavirus andpr ecting lives of health care workers. i speak to a doctor on new york's front line. also ahead, a divided america, even over the government's economi rescue package. i speak to the former presidential candidate tom steyer.en >> putting on lockdown in the true fight of our lives. m >> exclusive interview with the united nations secretary general. he's calling f a worldwide cease fire to help fight this pandemic. plus, the co-founder of the conduit club for social philanthropy tells me about the crushing blow to the hospitality industry. and finally -- >> this is one of the times when

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